I have this Material Issue EP from about ten years ago, and I still love listening to it. The Going Through Your Purse EP is like a best-of and live album all rolled into one, recorded in the band's home town of Chicago (and I think it was at the Aragon, but I'm not sure at the moment) at the height of their popularity. If you've got a few bucks to spend, try booting up iTunes and check out the Cheap Trick-style power-pop sound of Material Issue, because their first album International Pop Overthrow is only $6.93, and it's fourteen songs, and that ain't bad. It's no Freak City Soundtrack (which is not actually a soundtrack; it's just a clever title), but that's inexplicably unavailable from iTunes.
But I digress. Jim Ellison, front-man for Material Issue, had gone crowd-surfing at some point during the show, and the best part of this live disc is a moment after the "Ballroom Blitz" encore (which Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick also played guitar on); the master of ceremonies (Nash Kato, of Urge Overkill) walks out to the stage and announces to the audience:
"Apparently Jim has lost his wallet, could somebody return it?" There is a brief pause, followed by cheering from the audience. "Only in Chicago, right?" Nash Kato says, and you realize what kind of fans these people are that they'd return the wallet of someone who was teetering on rock & roll greatness, when they could just as easily have a souvenir and a few bucks by just pocketing it.
In the end, Jim Ellison couldn't take it anymore, and he was found dead in his garage in 1996, the apparent victim of depression and carbon monoxide poisoning, and all we're left with are the four albums (International Pop Overthrow, Destination Universe, Freak City Soundtrack, and the posthumous Telecommando Americano) the original Material Issue 12-inch EP, the Goin' Through Your Purse EP, and the super-rare 11 Supersonic Hit Explosions promo-disc that was issued only to radio stations. It's great stuff, and it's sad that this fantastic early-90's Chicago band got lost in the Seattle shuffle, the only exception to which seemed to be Smashing Pumpkins.
Anyway, getting on to your requisite dose of non-news of the day, it's new-magazine day at work today, and the latest issue of Us Magazine says that Brad Pitt wants Jennifer Aniston back. The cover of Star Magazine says Jennifer Aniston wants Brad Pitt back. ... Wait a minute. Now, either Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston want each other back and are too retarded to actually do so, or (the far more likely scenario) these magazines are making this shit up! I'm just waiting for Weekly World News to hop on the Brad-Jennifer bandwagon and issue the headline, "BAT BOY FOUND LIVING IN BRAD PITT'S HOUSE!"
It should also be noted that several of these magazines are blaming Angelina Jolie, Pitt's Mr. and Mrs. Smith co-star, is to blame for the Pitt-Aniston split, due to a possible affair while Jolie and Pitt were shooting their movie. At the bottom of the cover of Us Magazine, it actually says, "ANGELINA COMES OUT OF HIDING!" ... She was in hiding? I think that's overstating it just a little bit, because, come on, she's Angelina fucking Jolie. It's not like she's Salman Rushdie and the Ayatollah has put a price on her head.
In other news, Nick Lachey is desperately trying to remain at least slightly relevant in the public eye this week by barely talking to his wife, Jessica Simpson. She's pictured on the cover in what I assume to be her Daisy Duke regalia, though I don't put such poor fasion sense past her, and she's got so much eyeliner on that she looks like a raccoon. Tell you this: If my wife had that much eyeliner on, I'd barely be speaking to her either. But that's not the point. The point is, talentless hack Nick Lachey has become the Yoko Ono of the 21st Century; famous for being married to a famous singer.
Good night, everybody. I'm going to hop on Amazon and contemplate picking up Telecommando Americano and maybe a graphic novel or two.